Teal Organizational Paradigm

What we encounter as the worldwide norm in organizations today, is not what we will see in the future. It will be changing…

Our world is turning Teal, one organization at a time.

And we’re excited to be in the thick of the transformation! Whatever we do at Cultural Strategies, LLC, we do in service of helping our clients making the changes needed to turn our world Teal. We partner with other Teal coaching organizations worldwide to bring this new way of working to life.

Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations, helps us chart the changes and the differences that have been taking shape in organizations sometimes over the last 30-40 years although we never understood it until Laloux put together his research. His book is more than the bellwether for new organizational change; it is the intuition our souls have been craving to put back into organizations for centuries.

Now, we have a common narrative and a deeper set of topics that ring in these changes. We have witnessed some of these changes accelerate during our Covid pandemic period, even though we might not have known that they were pieces of our future.

Organizational Evolution v2

You will learn that the next generation of organizational structures may have:

  • No leadership team or C-Suite
  • No hierarchy
  • No titles
  • No P&L responsibilities
  • No management authority
  • No promotions, but fluid rearrangement of roles based on peer agreement

Instead, what you may see is: 

  • A focus on team performance
  • Self-managed teams
  • Peer-based processes for individual appraisals
  • Coordination and meetings are mostly ad hoc when needs arise
  • Involves everyone when there is a crisis
  • Employees encouraged to “be themselves” with no “professional mask”
  • Decision-making is broadly held and based on the Advice Process
  • Conflict resolution follows a informal multi-step practiceinvolving only the conflicted parties and if needed, mediators
  • Staff functions are fluid; one person can be in charge of many things inside one team
  • When needed, internal or external coaches specializing in Teal practices, cover several teams
  • Each team performs functions for themselves: hiring, firing, purchasing, budgeting, sales, and the work itself
  • All information is freely available in real-time to everyone at all times, including financial and compensation
  • Radically simplified project management
  • People self-staff projects
  • Employees vote with their feet; it’s OK to leave a team, no one can make you stay
  • A small core staff may provide extra functionality for all teams

The three Tenets/Breakthroughs involved in Teal Organizations are:

  • Self-Managed Teams
    Usually consisting of small, 10-12 person teams, many large organizations may have thousands of these teams interacting on multiple levels. Even organizations having 10,000+ FTEs may be configured into small, 10-12 person teams. At times, teams may merge or break off into other teams, depending on what the organization requires. As an amoeba surrounds its food to eat it and extends its pseudopods (“false feet”) to move, the team senses where it must go and what it must do to accomplish its goals.
  • Wholeness
    Embrace the wholeness of ourselves with no professional façade. Employees are invited to reclaim their whole inner self on behalf of the organization, including their emotional, intuitive, and spiritual aspects of themselves that often feel unwelcome and out of place at work.
  • Evolutionary Purpose
    Teal organizations are seen as having a life and a sense of direction all their own. Instead of trying to predict and control the future, members of the organization are invited to listen and intuit what the organization wants to become, what purpose it wants to serve.

We offer organizations help in discovering Teal Organizational Paradigm as their Guide, walking with them into their own discovery and fitting them up for whichever of the Tenets they would like to try first. Most organizations work only within one Tenet at a time. And many organizations never use all three of the Tenets. We work with you to internalize the concepts before putting something into place. We are your Guides and Partners in “Turning Teal.”

Here’s how we work to help you to know if turning Teal is for you:

  1. We help you understand the concepts
  2. Encourage you to start to think differently – what might you want to change first?
  3. Discover which Tenet to work inside first. The Tenets will be completely different for each organization.
  4. We help you intuit the steps forward on this portion of your journey by asking questions and guiding your exploration.
  5. We help you continue to hold the Teal Space Open for your evolution. We help you continue your intuition process, adding steps along the way.
  6. Offer Teal coaching and consulting, provide problem resolution inside the Advice Process, always asking the right questions to help you intuit your own answers.

We help you and your teams take your first steps inside this next generation of organizational evolution.

And did we mention Outcomes?

  • Motivation switches from extrinsic motivation (costly) to intrinsic motivation (no cost)
  • From making money, profit and success as drivers to making a difference, working in an environment people love, and acting in accordance with employees’ worldview
  • From ineffective posturing and politics to effective production and efficiencies because they are self-owned
  • From metrics-focused activities to measure success to “Does the organization’s accomplishments manifest its purpose?”

Many Teal organizations fare exceedingly well when compared to current Amber and Orange organizations:

  • Profits or surplus margins are high
  • They gain the highest caliber of employees (employees WANT to work there)
  • Outcomes of service are higher
  • Growth may be self-financed instead of loan or equity financed
  • Some Teal organizations generate gross margins of up to 40%

In short, Teal organizations are at least on par, if not more ahead, of their traditionally run cousins. It is not taking a foolish risk to embark on a Teal journey. But it is one of the most fulfilling journeys for every employee and to the heart of the organization.

We are at the start of the trend; yet the metrics we’ve been taught to pay attention to are the exact things that don’t count as much in Teal. More books and information are coming out that will lead to other conclusions and give apples to apples metrics, but until the world catches up with the number of Teal books and information generated, we feel like we may still be in the dark.

Because our specialty is Team Development, we love to help current leaders understand the concepts of excellent teaming practices. This can be done with or without a commitment to turn Teal. It’s an easy first step to take and will work well for existing teams, even if you decide Teal isn’t for you. Yet, we are getting you well-equipped to take other steps forward

What appeals to you first is usually the place where your organization wants to take you initially. One of our favorite sayings is: “Intuiting means that we pay attention to as much as we can at once, but only move on the one thing that ‘calls to us’ at the time.”

Let’s discuss – we know you have questions. You should!

A Brief History of Reinventing Organizations

Author: Frederic Laloux, 2021 Thinkers50 Index – Laloux @ #33 in 2021 Ranking/#39 in 2019 Ranking

Published: 2014, Self-Published with no PR

Research: Three years of intense, global research and meta-analysis

Copies Sold: 800,000+

Translations: 19 Languages, all volunteer-supplied

Spread By: Word of Mouth, no PR

Thought Of: As the most influential management book of the last decade

Organizational Shifts: From: What is broken? To: What are the possibilities?

Organizations Researched: 12 nonprofit and for profit Organizations walked Laloux through their own journeys

Employees: from 100* minimum to 40,000

Organization Countries: Global/Multinational, France, Germany, The Netherlands, United States

In Laloux’s book, the evolution of the organization substantially exhibits the same tendencies as the evolution of the human race. Even if there are slight dips in the evolution of the human race, we continue to hope that the overall trajectory of ourselves as human beings is upward. This book offers a mirrored look into our combined futures. It matches our organizational changes to the stages of human consciousness and development.

*One company had 90 employees but Laloux included their 20 company dogs, to reach the 100 minimum.

From the reigning paradigms of business to those things that we truly yearn for, we search for the next form that gives better meaning to our evolution. Yet each contributor had a small, significant piece of the next evolution within them – the hint – the taste of things to come.

As the ultimate Paradigm Guru, Joel Barker states: “Your successful past will block your visions of the future.” And “The past guarantees you nothing in the future if the rules change.”

The rules are changing. There is room for more.

Our world craves more from business than enterprise management, human resource management, and management systems.

It craves empathy, wholeness, work that liberates us, and has meaning.

We can have this change in our own organizations, now. But it takes courageous leaders to take that first step. Are you one of them?

We want to work with you to create your organization of the future!